Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Hidden Power of Smiling

smile

I recently watched a TED talks video called “The Hidden Power of Smiling” by Ron Gutman. In this video, Ron speaks about the importance of smiling and how smiling positively impacts our life.

http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_gutman_the_hidden_power_of_smiling.html

Here are some key facts from the video:

  • We are made/born to smile. 3-D ultrasound videos show babies smiling in the womb
  • Children smile 400x per day
  • It is so hard to frown when you’re looking at someone who is smiling, therefore, smiling is contagious
  • The act of smiling makes us feel better and feel good
  • 1 smile can generate the same brain stimulation of up to 2,000 bars of chocolate
  • Smiling can make you healthier — reduce the amount of stress hormones (cortisol)
  • Smiling is associated with an increase in mood enhancing endorphins and decrease in blood pressure
  • Smiling can make you look good in the eyes of others — more likeable, courteous, competent, more attractive
  • Smiling helps you live a longer and happier life (increases your lifespan)

My homework for you: smile often. Smile at your coworkers. Smile at your family, your friends, your spouse. Smile in every situation you can.

I bet you the picture of the baby made you smile!

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12 Awesome Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

I know by now you probably have heard some of the benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar on a regular basis. If you aren’t sold on the ideas already, here are 12 awesome benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (warning: some may surprise you!)

1. Hair: it’s a great rinse for your hair
2. Skin: balances the pH of your skin
3. Dandruff: helps to remove dandruffBRA-00132-1
4. Sunburn: ACV helps to alleviate the burn
5. Acetic Acid: can help with weight loss
6. Go Alkaline: helping your insides
7. Heartburn: helps to alleviate the tightening in the chest
8. Fleas: spray this on your furry 4-legged friends and watch the fleas flee!
9. Cleaning: mixed with water this can be a great cleaning agent
10. Diabetes: This one needs more research, but there is some preliminary evidence that apple cider vinegar can be healthy for diabetics — studies have shown that vinegar may lower blood sugar levels
11. Potassium: if you have low potassium levels, you should speak with your doctor before consuming it in large quantities, as it could effect levels of that nutrient.
12. Detox: natural detoxifying effects

Want to read more? Check out the rest of the blog here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/16/apple-cider-vinegar_n_3922569.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-living

Avocado Breakfast Pita

Looking for a quick and super cheap breakfast idea? Check out this Avocado Breakfast Pita from Budget Bytes

  • Total Cost: $1.22
  • Total Prep Time: 5 minutesAvocado Egg Pita
  • Total Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Total Time: 10 Minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ round pita pocket $0.17
  • 1 large egg $0.23
  • 1 handful baby spinach $0.53
  • ¼ medium avocado $0.22
  • to taste sriracha hot sauce $0.05
  • to taste salt & pepper $0.02
 Instructions
  1. Cook the egg in a skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Just before removing from the pan, add sriracha or your favorite hot sauce.
  2. While the egg is cooking, slice the avocado. Place the avocado slices inside the pita and smoosh them over the surface of one side of the pita with the back of a spoon or a knife.
  3. Stuff the spinach and egg into the pita as well. Either serve as is or cook the pita in the skillet on both sides to make it crispy.

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2012/01/avocado-breakfast-pita/

Quinoa Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread (Gluten Free!)

Mmm. Banana bread. Who doesn’t love it? I stumbled upon this recipe and just had to share it.
bananabread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of mashed bananas (mash them with a fork)
  • 2 organic eggs, whisk
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup organic melted organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of quinoa flour
  • 3/4 tsp aluminum-free/gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp organic ground cinnamon
  • 100 g dark chocolate bar, break into very small chunks (Make sure it’s gluten-free if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity)

Method:

  • Combine banana, sugar, eggs, coco oil, almond milk in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Mix both batches of ingredients together and stir well. If you find the batter is still too dry, add a touch more almond milk. Grease a medium size loaf pan and pour mixture into it. Bake at 350F degrees for 50-55 minutes until a fork inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes before you remove it from the pan. It will rise about 2-2.5 inches.
  • Enjoy with some sunflower seed butter!

Picture & Recipe from: joyoushealth.ca

No Bake Chocolate Chip Protein Squares

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES (Yes, I did just say 10 minutes)

IngredientsScreen-Shot-2013-08-29-at-1_39_50-PM
  • 2 bananas (mash them with a fork into a bowl)
  • 2 cups of oats or quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup organic chocolate chips (look for “fair-trade” if possible or use raw cacao nibs)
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls almond butter
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 scoop your favourite plant-based protein protein powder (I used chocolate Vegan proteins+)
Instructions
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well together.
  • Line a square dish with parchment paper.
  • Place the mixture into the square dish and flatten it evenly with your hands (tip: wet your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick to you) Cover the container and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, slice into bars or squares.
Notes
The great thing about this recipe is you can use any size pan. The smaller the pan, the thicker the bars and conversely, the large the pan, the thinner.
Also, if you want to make sure this recipe is truly gluten-free as it can be, use certified “gf” oats and chips. Quinoa flakes are naturally gluten-free of course.
Recipe and picture from: Joyoushealth.ca

No Bake Energy Bites

I saw this delicious recipe and had to share it with you. They’re super easy, taste delicious AND they’re healthy!

Ingredients:  

1 cup (dry) oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Roll into bit size balls. Refrigerate to set and enjoy!

healthy-energy-bites

Dry Brushing: Boots your immune system & helps you detox!

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Why not try dry brushing?! Dry brushing is a new technique used take care of yourself that I discovered a few weeks ago. Reading an article on the many health benefits to dry brushing sold me so much that I went out and bought a dry bush the very next day.

Here is a list of the many benefits to dry brushing listed on Joy McCarthy’s blog:

1. Skin detox: Sloughing off dead skin cells rejuvenates the skin and allows toxins to move out of the body

2. Cleanse the lymphatic system*: Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system which is very connected to your immune system. Strong immunity = healthy body.dry-brush-bigx-2-Copy

3. Get your glow-on! Removing dead skin layers softens rough patches

4. Helps reduce cellulite and prevent it.

5. Soft skin: Stimulates the hormone and oil producing glands

6. Stimulates circulation

7. It’s incredibly invigorating!

 

How to dry brush: (also watch the video from the link below to find out more information), brush your body from the feet up in a circular motion towards your heart.

Where to buy one: Want to know where to buy a dry brush? I purchased my dry brush at Noah’s Health Food store. Check out other health food stores to see if dry brushes are available!

For more information on what the lymphatic system is and how it is linked to your immune system and a quick video on how to dry brush properly, check out this blog: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2010/06/15/dry-skin-brushing-for-glow-immune-health/