10 Minute Skinny Lemonade

Originally published on amyshealthybaking.com By Amy

10 Minute Skinny Lemonade

An easy 3-ingredient recipe for sweet and refreshing lemonade. Made healthier with absolutely no sugar, it’s perfect for cooling off on hot summer days!

When I was 6 or 7 years old, my family flew to Colorado for our summer vacation. With lots of my mom’s relatives scattered throughout the state (one in Denver and the rest out towards the rural countryside), we spent a little time with each of them: my mom’s sister, cousin, aunt, and grandma.

Despite being in her 90s, Great-Grandma still lived alone in the same house from my mom’s childhood, located a short distance away from the neighborhood park. With her living room slightly too small for two very energetic children, she and Mom drove us over to the park, where we could soar high on the swing set and dig castles in the sand.

But the best attraction at the park was a gigantic 30-foot long slide built into the side of a hill. Made of metal with a few fun bumps in the middle, it was the perfect entertainment for lazy summer mornings. My brother and I would dash up the steep wooden steps hammered into the hillside and take turns flying down the slide, only to repeat the process as soon as our feet hit the sand at the bottom.

After our tiresome morning of swinging and sliding, we headed back to Great-Grandma’s for lunch. As a treat, she pulled out a few tall glasses and her container of powdered lemonade. My brother and I had never seen that before, so she explained how to spoon a little into each glass, fill it with water, and stir to create the sweet drink.

When we returned home from vacation, we begged Mom to buy the same powdered lemonade for our house—we loved it that much! Once Mom left the kitchen, we started making ours a little differently: we would only pretend to stir the powder in the bottom of the glass. After drinking most of the water, we were left with a few lemony, overly sugary tablespoons… And to kids, that was pure summer bliss.

With temperatures skyrocketing into the 110°s this week, we were desperate for something—anything—sweet and refreshing to cool off. When those Colorado memories resurfaced, lemonade immediately sounded like the most appealing option, but not the powdered kind… This super easy 10-Minute Lemonade!

That’s right, super easy. As in 3 ingredients. Summers are meant to be lazy and low-maintenance, so this recipe simply follows suit! But unlike regular lemonade recipes, this one contains absolutely no sugar, so it’s actually healthy and still lets you fit into that swimsuit!

10 Minute Skinny Lemonade_2

The recipe starts with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Skip the bottled stuff! That may be fine for sprinkling on apple slices to prevent browning, but not our healthy lemonade. Juice straight from the lemons tastes much brighter and purer, and it’s worth spending 9 minutes slicing juicing them.

I highly recommend a juicer like in the photo below! (I own this one.) It makes squeezing every last drop of juice out of the lemons so much easier than doing it by hand. Plus it catches the seeds so you don’t have to fish them out yourself! They’re really inexpensive, and they’re great for freshly squeezed orange juice too. And limes. And grapefruit. And… Well, you get the picture!

And now, simply mix that lemon juice with cold water and sweetener! I used powdered stevia, a no-calorie plant-based sweetener. You can find it in most health-oriented grocery stores, although the regular Safeways and Targets near my house have started stocking it too.

Because its sweetness is significantly more concentrated than granulated sugar, we only need 1 tablespoon of stevia for this entire recipe. That small amount makes the lemonade taste pleasingly sweet with a subtle tang—a way more realistic flavor compared to that powdered stuff!

I shared this lemonade with my brother, and he and his friends gulped down the entire batch. That’s quite a compliment coming from a lemon lover like him! And now… I think it’s time to make more!

10 Minute Skinny Lemonade

Sweet with a slight tang, this lemonade is perfect for cooling off on hot summer days!
  • 1 cup (240mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6-7 medium lemons)
  • 4 cups (960mL) cold water
  • 1 tbsp (12g) powdered stevia

Add all of the ingredients to a pitcher or large bowl, and stir until the stevia has completely dissolved. Serve immediately over ice, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Notes: I recommend a juicer like this one. It makes squeezing the juice out of the lemons much easier than doing it by hand!

Any sweetener may be substituted for the stevia. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your tastes.

{gluten-free, vegan, clean eating, low fat, low calorie, sugar-free, low carb}


What Comes First? Massage or Mud Bath

Recently I had the great honor of going to Calistoga and staying at Calistoga Golden Haven Hot Springs. I drove up on a Monday evening and decided to let the navigation take me and I went a way that was unfamiliar. It was Silverado Trail and I usually go a different way. So when I arrived, I was a lot stressed out and not to mention, I was already stressed out in the first place to cause me to actually schedule a retreat for myself.

This is how good I felt after the healing water

As soon as I arrived I knew I needed to just get into that Mineral Bath as soon as I could. The warm healing water felt so amazing on my body. I went swimming and had the wonderful feeling of being back in the embryonic stage and just being fully supported by amniotic fluid. It was amazing. But I have to say I was still a nervous wreck. I was stressed from too much social media and not enough self care.

The next morning I decided to get my services I booked which was a massage and mud bath. I made the appointment and didn’t really pay attention to the order of services when I booked. So being the little control freak that I am I had it in my head that I was going to have the mud bath first and then the massage. So when I went for my services and I had the massage first and then the mud bath, I was like whoa whoa whoa. I wanted the mud bath first for some reason because that was the way I’ve always had it.

What Happened As a Result of Order of Services?

So I had the massage first and it was awesome as usual. The Certified Massage Therapist was really good. She was super sweet and very experienced. I didn’t want it to end. But as all things usually end, that’s what happened.

I went to the mud bath and it was AMAZING!! It was relaxed from the massage and got in the mud and just really chilled out. Then I was able to get in the hot mineral spring waters followed by a “mummy wrap.” and OMG I was in heaven. “Mama where’s my bottle?”, is what I almost said.

During the deep state of relaxation I came up with the idea about being created to create. I realized I wasn’t born for any other reason than to create and it was such a relief. It felt so good to realize this. I could relax and create and I actually wrote a little song about it entitled, You were Created to create.

What I learned?

So long story short is don’t be afraid or mad when things don’t go exactly according to plan. It might turn out even yummier. It sure worked out that way for me. Thus the saying Go with the flow, easy peasy nice and breezy.

Golden Haven in Calistoga is definitely the place to go. They have a fridge in the room so take some yummy snacks so you don’t have to run out for food.

We were created to create. NOW GO CREATE SOMETHING

Valerie is a Health and wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  She’s kept up with the tap dancing and she encourages everyone to follow their dreams.  She says don’t worry if you don’t feel like you can do something well, just relax and have fun. XOXO

Why you should never let your baby or toddler play with your mobile phone

Mobile phones have become ubiquitous with modern life. So much so, realizing either your battery is about to die, or there’s no signal, OR you’ve left it at home are all likely to induce panic. Our phones are designed to make our lives easier, so we take them with us wherever we go, whipping them out whenever the situation demands, and even when it doesn’t. This constant use, however, may be damaging our babies and young children.

Mobile phones using 3G, 4G and Wifi communicate through electromagnetic fields. There has been much public concern regarding the possible effects (cancer, neurological effects, developmental disability effects) of this exposure on babies whose skulls are thin and incomplete and whose brains are still rapidly developing.

So, given what’s known about EMFs, what’s the best course of action for parents? To understand more, MirrorOnline spoke to Dr. Philip Chadwick, Chair of the European safety committee on EMF.

You should limit your baby’s exposure…

“…To within existing safety limits,” Dr. Chadwick advises.

“These already contain an extra precautionary factor to account for particularity-sensitive individuals, and are tailored to take into account the different body sizes of children.”Having said that, I can’t see any point in allowing a small child to use a mobile phone except in an emergency so if someone’s worried then that’s something they could control.”

The reason safety limits have been tailored for usage around babies is that their tissues are different to ours. “In particular they have more water. That makes them a bit better at absorbing radio waves. Secret sexting codes you need to know to protect your child – do you know what LMIRL means?

On the other hand, they are smaller and that makes them less good at absorbing radio waves.”

Dr. Chadwick also points out the guidelines apply to children of up to three years of age.

“Once they’re old enough to walk and talk easily at the same time they’re not materially different to adults in this respect.

“It also only really applies to phones held close against the head or body, and not to base stations or Wifi.”

Dr. Chadwick also urges parents to not get unduly panicked about phone exposure.

“The safety test done for phones already include safety factors to cover children, even tiny ones, and we know that children are fully-protected in terms of meeting safety limits from these devices.”

What parents should also realize is significant exposure decreases with distance and only happens if the phone is close to the baby’s body. “So the single most effective thing to do if someone is worried is to not let the child make calls or play with the phone.” Potential side-effects and dangers of long and short-term exposure to EMFs.

An estimated 6.9 billion adults use phones, so the long and short-term side effects are understandably the subject of ongoing and costly (to the tune of $12 billion) research. What does your phone’s airplane mode actually do? This is why it’s important to use it during a flight

Dr. Chadwick explains: “We’ve got a good idea about the known effects of exposure (which are related to the radio signal being absorbed in the body in terms of heat) and we know this isn’t an issue for phones currently sold and used.”

“Indeed, it’s a condition of putting them on the market that they are shown to meet safety limits.” But there are some grey areas.

“On the long-term effects, it’s more messy. Of the substantial body of evidence we have, most of it shows nothing.

“Some does, and we have to take care not to ignore that.

“But there’s a problem: Because of the way we do science we expect about one in 10 studies, maybe more, to be ‘false positives.’”

A false positive is a test result which incorrectly indicates that a particular condition or attribute is present.

Dr Chadwick explains researchers would expect, “from the thousands of published papers to see several hundred indicating an effect even if there’s really no problem.”

There’s also something else to consider. It can incredibly difficult to accurately quantify how much a person has been exposed to EMFs.

“You have to guesstimate it from things like phone bills, so most of the work comes with a lot of question marks attached.

Why using your phone before you go to sleep can make you gain weight

It’s been reviewed by a number of independent expert groups over the years, and whilst none of them have said categorically there’s definitely no problem, none of them have actually said there is a problem.

“About the most robust statement was from the International Agency for Research on Cancer who said that this stuff was a possible carcinogen.

“Interestingly they say the same about orange oil and aloe vera.”
So should adults be worried for themselves about their long-term health?

Given how mobile phones have been used for about 30 years now, Dr. Chadwick’s personal opinion is, “if there were real public health problem here we’d have seen it by now.

Twenty years ago I was of the view we were embarking on a fairly brave experiment of giving almost everyone in the country a phone and seeing what would happen.

“Twenty years on, I’m quite relieved the answer to that experiment seems to be ‘nothing’.

“If you look at the population-level cancer rates then you really can’t see any rise in the sort of timescale you’d expect if phones were a problem.

“I find that quite reassuring; if it is a risk then it’s not a very big one and we probably have more things to worry about in everyday life.”

Energy for All Program

Originally Published on Gridalternatives.org

Energy for All Program

GRID’s unique, people-first model, is putting money back into families’ pockets, increasing housing affordability and reducing the energy cost burden for affordable housing providers.

Single Family Solar

GRID reduces household electricity costs by up to 90% by providing no-cost solar systems to homeowners that qualify as low income. Each installation is also an opportunity for community members and job trainees to get hands-on experience with solar power. In California, GRID Alternatives is a statewide program administrator for the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program and the solar portion of the Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP).

Multifamily Solar

Solar can reduce and stabilize energy costs for affordable housing providers, and reduce bills for their tenants. GRID is helping catalyze this sector by providing no-cost technical assistance and low-cost design and installation services f

or affordable housing owners and developers who provide housing and vital services to low-income renters. Our holistic model includes energy efficiency partnerships, community education and engagement, and job training opportunities for residents.


Community Solar

Community solar provides access to cost-saving solar power regardless of roof condition or home-ownership status. GRID Alternatives partners with cooperative, municipal and investor-owned utilities and other community groups to develop shared solar arrays that benefit their highest energy burdened customers, including individual subscribers and affordable housing off-takers.

Muéstreme los fundamentos científicos: ¿Por qué lavarse las manos?

Originally Published on Cdc.gov

Muéstrame la ciencia Por qué lavarte las manos

Mantener las manos limpias es uno de los pasos más importantes que podemos tomar para evitar enfermarnos y contagiar gérmenes a otras personas. Muchas enfermedades y condiciones se propagan al no lavarse las manos con jabón y agua corriente limpia.


Cómo los gérmenes se ponen en las manos y enferman a las personas.

Las heces (excrementos) de personas o animales son una fuente importante de gérmenes como Salmonella, E. coli O157 y el norovirus que causan diarrea, y pueden propagar algunas infecciones respiratorias como el adenovirus y la enfermedad de manos, pies y boca. Estos tipos de gérmenes pueden llegar a las manos después de que las personas usen el inodoro o cambien un pañal, pero también de maneras menos obvias, como después de manejar carnes crudas que tienen cantidades invisibles de excremento de animales. Un solo gramo de excremento humano, que tiene aproximadamente el peso de un clip, puede contener un billón de gérmenes 1. Los gérmenes también se pueden poner en las manos si las personas tocan cualquier objeto que tenga gérmenes porque alguien tosió o estornudó o fue tocada por algún otro objeto contaminado. Cuando estos gérmenes se ponen en las manos y no se lavan, se pueden pasar de una persona a otra y enfermar a las personas.
Lavarse las manos previene enfermedades y contagio de infecciones a otros.

Lavarse las manos con jabón elimina los gérmenes de las manos. Esto ayuda a prevenir infecciones porque:

Las personas frecuentemente se tocan los ojos, la nariz y la boca sin siquiera darse cuenta. Los gérmenes pueden ingresar al cuerpo a través de los ojos, la nariz y la boca y enfermarnos.
Los gérmenes de las manos sin lavar pueden entrar en los alimentos y las bebidas mientras las personas los preparan o los consumen. Los gérmenes pueden multiplicarse en algunos tipos de alimentos o bebidas, bajo ciertas condiciones, y enfermar a las personas.
Los gérmenes de las manos sin lavar pueden transferirse a otros objetos, como pasamanos, mesas o juguetes, y luego transferirse a las manos de otra persona.
Eliminar los gérmenes a través del lavado de manos, por lo tanto, ayuda a prevenir la diarrea y las infecciones respiratorias e incluso puede ayudar a prevenir las infecciones de la piel y los ojos.

Enseñar a las personas sobre el lavado de manos les ayuda a ellos y a sus comunidades a mantenerse saludables. Educación para el lavado de manos en la comunidad:

  • Reduce la cantidad de personas que se enferman de diarrea en un 23-40% 2, 3, 6
  • Reduce las enfermedades diarreicas en personas con sistemas inmunitarios
  • debilitados en un 58% 4
  • Reduce las enfermedades respiratorias, como los resfriados, en la población
  • general en un 16-21% 3, 5
  • Reduce el ausentismo debido a enfermedades gastrointestinales en escolares de un 29-57% 7

No lavarse las manos perjudica a los niños de todo el mundo.

  • Alrededor de 1,8 millones de niños menores de 5 años mueren cada año por enfermedades diarreicas y neumonía, los dos principales asesinos de niños pequeños en todo el mundo.
    mundo 8.
  • El lavado de manos con jabón puede proteger a aproximadamente 1 de cada 3 niños pequeños que se enferman con diarrea 2, 3 y casi 1 de cada 5 niños pequeños con infecciones respiratorias como neumonía 3, 5.
    Aunque las personas de todo el mundo se limpian las manos con agua, muy pocas usan jabón para lavarse las manos. Lavarse las manos con jabón elimina los gérmenes de manera mucho más efectiva 9.
  • La educación para el lavado de manos y el acceso al jabón en las escuelas pueden ayudar a mejorar la asistencia 10, 11, 12.
    Un buen lavado de manos en una etapa temprana de la vida puede ayudar a mejorar el desarrollo infantil en algunos entornos 13.
  • Las tasas globales estimadas de lavado de manos después de usar el inodoro son solo del 19% 6.

El lavado de manos ayuda a combatir el aumento de la resistencia a los antibióticos

La prevención de la enfermedad reduce la cantidad de antibióticos que usan las personas y la probabilidad de que se desarrolle resistencia a los antibióticos. El lavado de manos puede prevenir aproximadamente el 30% de las enfermedades relacionadas con la diarrea y aproximadamente el 20% de las infecciones respiratorias (p. Ej., Resfriados) 2, 5. Los antibióticos a menudo se prescriben innecesariamente para estos problemas de salud 14. Reducir el número de estas infecciones lavándose las manos frecuentemente ayuda a prevenir el uso excesivo de antibióticos, el factor más importante que conduce a la resistencia a los antibióticos en todo el mundo. El lavado de manos también puede prevenir que las personas se enfermen con gérmenes que ya son resistentes a los antibióticos y que pueden ser difíciles de tratar.


Healthy Food Makes You Happy: Research Shows A Healthy Diet Improves Your Mental Health

Originally Published on forbes.com on January 26, 2019 By Frances Bridges

Healthy Food Makes You Happy Research Shows A Healthy Diet Improves Your Mental Health

Depression has many origins: genetic, triggered by a specific event or circumstance or lifestyle choices. But it is a disease of the brain, and researchers find that ensuring it receives the proper nutrients is a way to prevent and treat depression. In the future patients experiencing depression may not only be referenced to a therapist, but a nutritionist as well. It has long been understood that fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean, unprocessed proteins are the best foods for our daily diet, but only over the last 10 years or so have studies begun to show that healthy eating impacts not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. And an unhealthy diet—high in trans fats, sugar and processed and refined foods—increases risk for depression, especially in children and teens because it deprives the brain of the nutrients it needs, and breeds bad bacteria in the gut, which impacts our mental and physical health.

A trial conducted by epidemiologist Felice Jacka of Deakin University in Australia, set out to measure the therapeutic impact of a healthy diet. The study consisted of 67 subjects with depression, some of whom were receiving psychotherapy, some of whom were taking antidepressants and some with both. Half were given nutritional counseling, the other half were given one-on-one social support, someone to keep them company and engage in social activities with- known to help people with depression. After 12 weeks, the group that changed their diet felt significantly happier than the group that received additional companionship. The study was published in January 2017 in BMC Medicine. Prof. Jacka explains,

Whole (unprocessed) diets higher in plant foods, healthy forms of protein and fats are consistently associated with better mental health outcomes. These diets are also high in fiber, which is essential for gut microbiota. We’re increasingly understanding that the gut is really the driver of health, including mental health, so keeping fiber intake high through the consumption of plant foods is very important.”

A second study from the University of Konstanz in Germany drew similar conclusions, finding that consuming vegetables led to a higher level of happiness over time than sugar or unhealthy food induces in the moment. In a study with 14 different food categories, eating vegetables “contributed the largest share to eating happiness” measured over eight days. And on average, sweets only provided “induced eating happiness” in comparison to an overall healthy diet. “Thus, the findings support the notion that fruit and vegetable consumption has beneficial effects on different indicators of well-being, such as happiness or general life satisfaction, across a broad range of time spans,” writes the Department of Psychology from the University of Konstanz.

So what should we eat? Research suggests a Mediterranean-style diet made up of fruits, vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, yogurt and cheese, nuts, whole grains, seafood and lean red meat, and eliminate fried and processed foods. The diet provides the nutrition our brain needs and supports good bacteria in the gut.

Healthy Food Makes You Happy Research Shows A Healthy Diet Improves Your Mental Health


Frances Bridges

I’m a twentysomething freelance journalist, writer and blogger in New York City. I write about everything I’ve done wrong as a twentysomething woman here in the trenches. Take my advice at your own risk.