Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy

Originally Published on Psychologytoday.com on Dec 16, 2014 By Judith Orloff M.D.

Sensitive people or empaths have an ability to be emotional sponges that can heighten when they are at a social event, around co-workers, or in crowds. If empaths are around peace and love, their bodies assimilate these and flourish. Negativity, though, often feels assaultive or exhausting.

For empaths to fully enjoy being around others, they must learn to protect their sensitivity and find balance. Since I’m an empath, I want to help them cultivate this capacity and be comfortable with it.

I’ve always been hyper-attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. Before I learned to protect my energy, I felt them lodge in my body. After being in crowds I would leave feeling anxious, depressed, or tired. When I got home, I’d just crawl into bed, yearning for peace and quiet.

Here are six strategies from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you manage your senstivity more effectively and stay centered without absorbing negative energies.

  1. Move away. When possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don’t err on the side of not wanting to offend anyone.  At the gathering try not to sit next to the identified energy vampire. Physical closeness increases empathy.
  2. Surrender to your breath. If you suspect you are picking up someone else’s energies, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power. In contrast, holding your breath keeps negativity lodged in your body. To purify fear and pain, exhale stress and inhale calm. Picture unwholesome emotions as a gray fog lifting from your body, and wellness as a clear light entering it. This can produce quick results.
  3. Practice Guerilla Meditation. Be sure to meditate before the gathering, centering yourself, connecting to spirit, feeling your heart. Get strong. If you counter emotional or physical distress while at an event, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. You can do this by taking refuge in the bathroom or an empty room. If it’s public, close the stall. Meditate there. Calm yourself. Focus on positivity and love. This has saved me many times at social functions where I feel depleted by others.
  4. Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Set clear limits and boundaries with people, nicely cutting them off at the pass if they get critical or mean. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
  5. Visualize protection around you. Research has shown that visualization is a healing mind/body technique. A practical form of protection many people use, including health care practitioners with difficult patients, involves visualizing an envelope of white light around your entire body. Or with extremely toxic people, visualize a fierce black jaguar patrolling and protecting your energy field to keep out intruders.
  6. Define and honor your empathic needs. Safeguard your sensitivities. In a calm, collected moment, make a list of your top five most emotionally rattling situations. Then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t fumble in the moment. Here are some practical examples of what to do in situations that predictably stymie empaths.
  • If someone asks too much of you, politely tell them “no.” It’s not necessary to explain why. As the saying goes, “No is a complete sentence.”
  • If your comfort level is three hours max for socializing–even if you adore the people — take your own car or have an alternate transportation plan so you’re not stranded.
  • If crowds are overwhelming, eat a high-protein meal beforehand (this grounds you) and sit in the far corner of, say, a theatre or party, not dead center.
  • Some empaths are highly sensitive to scents, if you are overwhelmed, for instance by perfume, nicely request that your friends refrain from wearing it around you. If you can’t avoid it, stand near a window or take frequent breaks to catch a breath of fresh air outdoors.

If all else fails and you absorb stressful or negative energy while at a gathering when you get home take a bath or shower. My bath is my sanctuary after a busy day. It washes away everything from bus exhaust to long hours of air travel to pesky symptoms I have taken on from others. Soaking in natural mineral springs divinely purifies all that ails.

Dr.Orloff shares more about empaths in The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy_2

Judith Orloff, M.D. is the author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. In the book she educates readers about empaths, highly sensitive people, and offers strategies for anyone who wants to avoid narcissists and transform difficult emotions to positive ones. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her LA based private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, The Power of Surrender and Second Sight. Connect with Judith on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff’s books and workshop schedule, visit her website. Republished with explicit written permission from the author. Join her empath Facebook community for sensitive souls Here.

Tension Is the Enemy of a Singer, Part 1: Jaw Tension

Originally published on Backstage.com on By Arden Kaywin

Tension Is the Enemy of a Singer, Part 1 Jaw Tension

One very important concept for any singer to remember is that your body is your instrument, not your vocal cords. Anything that negatively impacts the open flow of energy and sound through your body will negatively effect the quality of your singing. Chief among these is physical tension. Tension is the enemy of the singer because it blocks the free flow of energy, breath, and sound throughout the body, necessary for communication.

When a new singer comes to work with me, one of the very first things I do is to help them become aware of any physical tensions they have that are getting in the way of their most efficient production of sound. Mother Nature gave humans an incredibly efficient mechanism for producing sound, but singers often do not trust it. Instead, they develop habits which they believe help control their

create all sorts of tensions that negatively impact the sound they are trying to improve.

The most common tensions I see singers dealing with are jaw tension, neck tension and tongue tension. In my next three articles, I will explore each of these tensions, how and why they creep in, and I’ll give you some simple tips and exercises you can do to release them. Let’s start with jaw tension.

If you have trouble with your higher register, one of the culprits might be that you are trying to grab and control the notes with your jaw. If the jaw is not free, then your ability to stretch your soft palate is compromised, as soft palate stretch is necessary to access your upper register successfully. The more locked and controlling your jaw is, the less you can expand into your soft palate for those higher notes. We need to have a free and fluid jaw while singing. Most singers do not even realize they have been locking or holding, because they have never felt it any other way. Here is an exercise to access more freedom in the jaw and let go of tension.

Find a soft, easy smile and let the jaw hang in that smile. Remember that when we talk about the jaw, we’re really just talking about the two hinges on either side of your head in front of your ears (don’t mistake the jaw for the chin). From this easy smile, allow the jaw hinges to soften and open. The feeling will be one of the jaw hanging down and back as you smile. Do not hold your jaw in this position; it should feel free and softly hanging. Keep the energy of the easy smile by feeling your ears widening away from each other. Then, alternate between chanting “ya-ya-ya” and “la-la-la” on a single pitch as you go down a five-note scale. You want the tongue to be doing the work of moving to change the vowels and consonants, not the jaw. We need the tongue and jaw to be able to move independently of one another. If you find your jaw locking, closing, or moving up and down in tandem with the tongue as you change consonants, then close your mouth, swallow, take a nose breath into a smile, feel your ears widening, then let the jaw drop again and resume. Doing this exercise in front of a mirror can be helpful as well.

Arden Kaywin

Arden Kaywin is voice teacher, vocal coach, and vocal producer in Los Angeles with over 10 years experience working with developing singers and nearly 20 years as a professional singer herself. She holds a master’s degree in music and vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music in NYC, where she studied classical voice and opera.

Vegan Chocolate Cake (Vegan Desserts)

Originally published on cookingjourneyblog.com on Last Updated on April 13, 2019 By Cooking Journeyer Alina and Dmitry

Vegan Chocolate Cake Vegan Desserts

Vegan chocolate cake is just perfect for Birthday, Easter or Christmas celebration. It is indulgent, moist and delicious. A beautiful treat for chocolate lover!

This is one of the best vegan chocolate cake recipe and it is so easy that you will absolutely love it! It has layers of moist chocolate sponge, chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries.

Vegan Chocolate Cake Vegan Desserts_1

Moreover, it is a healthier version of vegan chocolate cake, because I used less sugar and more spice and vanilla for flavor. One of the best vegan desserts to have!

Simple vegan cake. But so heavenly good that you need to pin this recipe!

Chocolate cake and strawberries in vegan desserts

I think it is an ideal flavor and color combination, isn’t it? Chocolate is so dominant in this cake, it needs something refreshing. So when you bite – you get chocolate, then strawberry, chocolate then strawberry…

This chocolate cake is to die for! It is like chocolate covered strawberries on the opposite..more like strawberry covered chocolate, haha.

You can use other seasonal berries for chocolate cake such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries etc. I don’t recommend using jams or preserves for layers, as they will not give needed freshness. If you can’t find fresh berries, you can use defrosted and well drained packed produce.

How to make vegan chocolate cake
Dry ingredients:

To make this chocolate cake you will need all-purpose flour, cacao powder, vegan chai powder, Muscovado sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Yes, I used cacao, not cocoa powder.

Vegan chai is optional, it is used to add more spicy flavor to the chocolate. And there are so many options of adding chai in vegan desserts!

It is usually a combination of ground spices cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, pepper, black tea and sugar (or substitutes). I used store bought vegan chai latte (refined sugar-free), but if you can’t find it, you can make your own. Combine 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tbsp of icing sugar (or substitute), 1 tsp of each: ground tea, sugar and other spices that I mentioned. Add just a pinch of ground pepper, salt and cloves. Mix everything with cacao. Make sure the total weight of spice and cacao is 165 grams. If less than that, add more cacao. And yes, to be more precise, it is better to use scales!

Muscovado or khandsari sugar is a dark brown sugar with a strong molasses content and flavor. To my mind, it gives the depth and umami flavor during the baking process. It is partially refined cane sugar that is a little bit healthier than regular sugar, because of higher content of minerals. If you can’t find Muscovado, you can use good quality brown sugar.

It is very important to sieve all dry ingredients twice (except the sugar). It will help you to get rid of any lumps or big pieces of spice. The batter will be smoother, too.

Wet ingredients:

You will need 675 ml of vegan milk of your choice. I used low-calorie coconut-rice milk, because I love the combination of coconut, chocolate and strawberries. You can also use coconut or almond milk for this vegan chocolate cake recipe.

I used a combination of melted and cooled coconut oil and sunflower oil. For more flavor, I added vanilla extract and to make soda “work” – a little bit of grape vinegar.

Combine all the wet ingredients in big bowl, then sieve in dry ingredients, mixing in batches. Finally add sugar and mix just until combined.

You don’t need any electric mixer, just use a hand whisk.

Divide the batter in 3 pans or use 3 parts to bake vegan sponges in batches.

By the way, this batter has no eggs, so you can safely taste it before baking! Delicious? Let’s bake it!

Vegan Chocolate Cake Vegan Desserts_2

How to bake vegan chocolate cake

To bake chocolate sponges, layer the baking paper in a pan (I used 8 inch 20 cm spring form pan). Pour 1/3 of batter and bake this cake for 20-25 minutes in oven, preheated to 325 F / 160 C. It should be ready, when inserted wooden skewer comes out with few crumbs on it. Let the chocolate cake cool a little, then run the knife around the edges. And let it cool completely at room temperature on a wire rack.

It is ok if the sponges are slightly cracked in the center. Chocolate sponges will be a little bit oily if you touch them, but it means they are super moist and tasty. I think this could be a great base for other vegan desserts, such as trifle.

You can also make this easy vegan chocolate cake a bit smaller -with two sponges and one layer of strawberries and ganache. Just calculate 2/3 of the recipe for sponges and ganache.

When all the chocolate sponges are baked and cooled, you can start assembling the cake.

How to make vegan chocolate ganache

Melt vegan dark chocolate with coconut-rice milk on a Bain-Marie or water bath. Just roughly chop 270 g of chocolate (or use vegan chocolate chips) and place it in a heat-proof bowl. Add 150 ml of vegan milk (0,6 cup). Place a small pot with a little bit of water on a small heat. Put a bowl with chocolate and milk on top, make sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Melt the chocolate, mixing with a spatula.

You can microwave milk with chocolate for 20 seconds 3 times, mixing with a spatula just until melted.

Set aside chocolate ganache to cool for 30-40 minutes, but don’t refrigerate. It will thicken, and it will be easier to spread on the vegan cake.

Save this easy vegan chocolate frosting recipe for your favorite vegan desserts.

Assembling

This is always a fun part! Carefully remove the baking paper from the chocolate sponge and place it on the cake stand or serving plate. Spread 1/3 of chocolate ganache on top. Cut strawberries and place them around the cake in one layer.

Repeat with another sponge and layer of ganache and strawberries. Put the 3rd chocolate sponge on top. Spread the ganache and let some of it drop around the edges. Make sure your cake is even from different corners. If not, you can insert more pieces of strawberries between the layers.

How to decorate chocolate cake

I’ve made simple raw decoration, using fresh strawberries. Moreover, I’ve added baby arugula leaves. They have savory peppery taste that I love in combination with sweet strawberries and chocolate. But green leaves are more for decoration than taste, so if you can definitely use some fresh mint or lemon balm leaves!

I also sprinkled some dried strawberries on top (and in between the layers, too). It is optional, but it gives more concentrated strawberry flavor and lovely color.

By the way, if you decide to make this cake for Easter, you can top it with colorful chocolate eggs!

How long does vegan chocolate cake last

Consume this chocolate cake for 5 days. You can eat every morning a piece of vegan cake. Just kidding. But it is really filling and energizing. Who doesn’t want to start the day with a healthier chocolate cake?

I’m sure you can also keep it in freezer for a month. However, I’m not sure about the texture of the cake after defrosting. Let me know, if you decide to freeze it!

Hope you will enjoy this easy vegan chocolate cake recipe! This is definitely one of the best chocolate cakes (and vegan desserts) to try. Moist, delicious and indulgent dessert.

Please share this chocolate cake with your vegan friends!

Vegan chocolate cake is just perfect for any Birthday, Easter or Christmas celebration. It is indulgent, moist and delicious. A beautiful treat for chocolate lover!

Author: Cooking Journey
Ingredients
For 3 vegan chocolate sponges:

415 g flour all-purpose
110 g cacao powder
50 g chai latte vegan
2, 5 tsp baking soda
1, 5 tsp baking powder
150 g Muscovado sugar
675 ml coconut-rice milk
240 g coconut oil melted
170 g sunflower oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
2,5 tsp grape vinegar

Vegan chocolate ganache:

270 g vegan dark chocolate
150 ml coconut milk
1 tsp coconut oil

For decoration:

500 g fresh strawberries
1 tbsp dried strawberry pieced optional
1 tbsp leaves mint, arugula or lemon balm

Instructions
Chocolate sponges:

Preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C. Layer 3 cake pans with parchment paper*
Sift flour, cacao, baking powder, soda and chai in a small bowl. Mix together.
In a big bowl add milk, oils, vanilla and vinegar. Whisk until combined. Sift in mixed dried ingredients in 2-3 batches. Combine well.
Add sugar and mix until combined.
Divide batter in three. Distribute batter to the prepared baking pans.
Bake each sponge for 20-25 minutes until inserted wooden skewer comes out with few crumbs on it.
Let the chocolate cake cool a little, then run the knife around the edges. And let it cool completely at room temperature on a wire rack.

Chocolate ganache:

Prepare Bain- Marie or water bath. Place a small pot with a little bit of water on a small heat.
Roughly chop dark chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl. Add vegan milk. Put a bowl with chocolate and milk on top of small pot with simmering water. Make sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Melt the chocolate, mixing with a spatula.
You can microwave milk with chocolate for 20 seconds 3 times, mixing with a spatula just until melted.
Let the chocolate ganache cool for 30-40 minutes, but don’t refrigerate.

Assembling

Carefully remove the baking paper from the chocolate sponge and place it on the cake stand or serving plate. Spread 1/3 of chocolate ganache on top. Cut strawberries and place them around the cake in one layer.
Repeat with another sponge and layer of ganache and strawberries. Put the 3rd chocolate sponge on top.
Spread the ganache and let some of it drop around the edges. Make sure your cake is even from different corners. If not, you can insert more pieces of strawberries between the layers.
Decorate with fresh strawberries, micro leaves and sprinkle dried strawberries.

Grandma B’s Cucumber Salad

Originally Published on Sweetlittlebluebird.com By Mary Neumann
Grandma B’s Cucumber Salad

Today I am sharing another childhood favorite, a summer tradition at my grandparents’ for each and every barbecue – Cucumber Salad! Crisp summer cucumbers and onions thinly sliced, marinated in a simple yummy vinegar, sugar and water dressing. A summertime favorite side dish.

Cucumber Salad – A traditional, old-school classic recipe. Refreshing, cool and crisp, perfect on hot summer days. This is the perfect side dish for any family gathering, picnic, BBQ or potluck – even better, it’s budget friendly! 

Every time my grandpa grilled steaks, burgers or hot dogs in the summer, this was always one of the side dishes. My great-grandma, (Grandma B), loved this salad, hence the name.

Over the years I have changed the recipe a smidgen, adding tomatoes and dill for another layer of flavor. I also like mixing in a little red onion along with a white or Vidalia onion.

Grandma B’s Cucumber Salad_2

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best ones. This salad allows the garden fresh cucumbers and onions (and tomatoes) to shine.
I love lots and lots of dill in the salad (optional). Fresh dill weed is best, but dry dill weed works well too.

 

Ingredients
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin (use your favorite onion – Vidalia is great, sweet onion or white). I like to mix in a little red onion for color, I also love the taste.
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (use less or more to your liking)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional

  • toss in fresh tomatoes (use your favorite – cherry, plum, fresh from the garden)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried dill or 3 teaspoons fresh dill weed
  • English cucumbers are great for this salad
Directions
Place sliced cucumbers and onions (tomatoes if you are using them) in a medium size bowl.
In a separate medium size bowl (or large 4 cup measuring cup), mix vinegar, water and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over veggies. If adding dill, toss in dill and mix well. Cover and place in fridge for two to three hours before serving.  Serve chilled. Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

 

 

meet-maryAbout Me

 

Hi, I’m Mary, the face behind the food blog Sweet Little Bluebird. I am married to a great guy from Northern California and we have two sweet girls. On my blog you will find my favorite recipes along with tried and trues from cherished cookbooks and admired sites and magazines. Each Friday, stop by for the Weekend Potluck party, a place where top food bloggers come to link up their best recipes.

 

REVITALIZING BATHS

Originally published on Solzana.com on October 15, 2018

Baths rituals have been around since the beginning of time and are used all over the world in different cultures. Renowned for their healing and therapeutic properties, baths were used in ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and Egyptians for spiritual cleansing and meditation. Even if you don’t think of baths as a form of ritual, most of us have experienced bathing in some form. Whether you were a baby receiving your first bath or soaking in your kiddie pool to escape the heat during the hot summer months. These “bath rituals”, help connect with others and refresh the mind, body, and soul. All of us have benefited from some type of bath in our lives.

Baths truly have the power to purify the spirit and help manifest our wishes.

I am excited to share the below bath rituals that I use in conjunction with my manifesting spells and Reiki.

May these enhance your life and refresh your soul! Enjoy!

ABSOLUTE SUNSHINE BATH

This bath is used when I feel drained and I want to boost my energy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup of Sea Salt
  • 2 Lemons – The Juice
  • Half a Cup of Honey
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • A few sprigs of Mint or Lemon Grass (optional)

While filling your bath with hot water, sprinkle the sea salt, lemon juice, honey, milk, & mint/lemon grass. Stir in well so that all of the ingredients dissolve. As you get towards the end of filling up the bath, change the water temperature to cold, that way to balance out the heat of the bath until it is at a comfortable temperature. Careful not to scald yourself.

Before getting into the bath, take time to imagine that the water is turning into liquid gold that is radiating light energy. Concentrate on the belief that your body will soak in this energy and increase your vitality as well as help you attract more of what you wish for. Like bees to honey, you will attract abundance, health, and happiness.

For those that are Reiki attuned: Channel Reiki energy into the water to increase the power of the above intention.

Get in, relax, and enjoy!

LOVE POTION BATH

This bath is used to increase self-love and/or to attract love.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup of Sea Salt
  • Half a Cup of Honey
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • Rose Petals

While filling your bath with hot water, sprinkle the sea salt, honey, milk, & rose petals. Stir in well so that all of the ingredients dissolve. As you get towards the end of filling up the bath, change the water temperature to cold, that way to balance out the heat of the bath until it is at a comfortable temperature. Careful not to scald yourself.

Before getting into the bath, take time to imagine that the water is radiating green and pink color light energy. Concentrate on the belief that the salt is a cleanser. That it will help release past traumas, fears, and any negative thoughts or feelings towards any past relationships or yourself. Imagine that the milk & honey will help heal all wounds and help attract true love and healing.

For those that are Reiki attuned: Channel Reiki energy into the water to increase the power of the above intention.

Remember, you must love yourself before you can love another. Get in, relax, and enjoy!

Health Benefits of Rebounding

Originally Published on wellnessmama.com on January 23, 2019 By Katie Wells

Health Benefits of Rebounding

Rebounding is an exercise I do daily, but I must admit that when I first heard about it, the idea sounded crazy. If you aren’t familiar with it, rebounding is basically jumping on a mini trampoline either in gentle bounces where your feet don’t leave the trampoline or in complete jumps where you rise 6 inches from the surface.

Why Rebound?

Glad you asked. Turns out that there are many benefits to rebounding (including NASA’s research showing that rebounding can be more than twice as effective as treadmill running).

The idea of rebounding has been around for a long time, but it gained popularity in the 1980s when NASA studied its benefits while trying to find an effective way to help astronauts recover and regain bone and muscle mass after being in space. Astronauts can lose as much as 15% of their bone and muscle mass from only 14 days at zero gravity, so NASA needed a way to help reverse this damage.

Some of the findings of the NASA study:

  • When the astronauts were tested while running on a treadmill, the G-force measured at the ankle was over twice what it was at the back and head. This means that the foot and leg absorb much of the force when running, which can explain the higher rates of foot, shin and knee problems from running (especially running incorrectly). On a trampoline, the G-force was almost identical at the ankle, back and head and at a lower level than that of the G-force at the ankle on a treadmill. This shows that rebounding can exercise the entire body without excess pressure to the feet and legs.
  • “The external work output at equivalent levels of oxygen uptake were significantly greater while trampolining than running. The greatest difference was about 68%.” In other words, the increased G-force in rebounding means you get more benefit with less oxygen used and less exertion on the heart.
  •  ” . . averting the deconditioning that occurs during the immobilization of bed rest or space flight, due to a lack of gravireceptor stimulation (in addition to other factors), requires an acceleration profile that can be delivered at a relatively low metabolic cost. . .for equivalent metabolic cost, and acceleration profile from jumping will provide greater stimuli to gravireceptors.” In other words, the acceleration and deceleration of rebounding provides benefits on a cellular level and at a greater rate than other forms of exercise like running.

Health Benefits of Rebounding_2

How Rebounding Works

Many types of exercise are done to target specific muscles or just to increase cardiovascular function. Rebounding is unique since it uses the forces of acceleration and deceleration and can work on every cell in the body in a unique way.

When you bounce on a rebounder (mini-trampoline), several actions happen:

  • An acceleration action as you bounce upward
  • A split-second weightless pause at the top
  • A deceleration at an increased G-force
  • Impact to the rebounder
  • Repeat

The action of rebounding makes use of the increased G-force from gravity based exercises like this and each cell in the body has to respond to the acceleration and deceleration. The up and down motion is beneficial for the lymphatic system since it runs in a vertical direction in the body.

Another study showed that the increased G-force helped increase Lymphocyte activity. The lymph system transports immune cells throughout the body and supports immune function. For this reason, rebounding is often suggested as a detoxifying and immune boosting activity.

Rebounding, since it affects each cell in the body, can also increase cell energy and mitochondrial function.

One of the major benefits of rebounding is its benefit to the skeletal system. Just as astronauts lose bone mass in space as a response to the decreased need for strong bones in a zero gravity environment, weight bearing exercise increases bone mass. Rebounding is especially effective at this since it increases the weight supported by the skeletal system with the increased G-force of jumping.

James White, Ph.D., director of research and rehabilitation in the physical education department at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), has explained how jumping for health offers a true physical strengthening effect to the muscles.

“Rebounding allows the muscles to go through the full range of motion at equal force. It helps people learn to shift their weight properly and to be aware of body positions and balance,” says White.

An advocate of rebounding for athletic conditioning, White uses the rebounder in his rehabilitation program at UCSD. “When you jump, jog, and twist on this [jumping] device, you can exercise for hours without getting tired. It’s great practice for skiing, it improves your tennis stroke, and it’s a good way to burn off calories and lose weight,” says White. (source)

Benefits of Rebounding

I mentioned many of these above, but here are the benefits of rebounding without all the science and sources:

Boosts lymphatic drainage and immune function
Great for skeletal system and increasing bone mass
Helps improve digestion
More than twice as effective as running without the extra stress on the ankles and knees
Increases endurance on a cellular level by stimulating mitochondrial production (these are responsible for cell energy)
Helps improve balance by stimulating the vestibule in the middle ear
Helps improve the effects of other exercise- one study found that those who rebounded for 30 seconds between weight lifting sets saw 25% more improvement after 12 weeks than those who did not.
Rebounding helps circulate oxygen throughout the body to increase energy.
Rebounding in a whole body exercise that improves muscle tone throughout the body.
Some sources claim that the unique motion of rebounding can also help support the thyroid and adrenals.
Rebounding is fun!

How to Start Rebounding

Essentially, it is as easy as starting to bounce daily. Most sources I’ve seen recommend rebounding for 15 minutes or more a day, though this can be broken in to multiple 3-5 minute groups.

Though rebounding is a gentle activity, it is best to start with feet on the rebounder and only gentle jumps and work up to jumping with feet leaving the rebounder.

Personally, I jump on the rebounder for a few minutes when I wake up, then dry brush my skin (both are good for avoiding cellulite) and then shower. I also jump on the rebounder a few times a day when I remember. I keep it in my bedroom, so I usually remember when I go in my room to fold laundry or change clothes.

There are a lot of different models of rebounders to choose from. The more expensive models are supposed to have better springs to reduce the impact to joints, but any small trampoline will work. Here are a few I’ve personally tried:

This Needak Rebounder from Tropical Traditions (the one in my room)
This Jump Sport Rebounder (a little cheaper) – One of my friends’ favorites.
A Stamina 36 inch Rebounder (cheapest option, only $36) – Another friend has one of these and likes it a lot.

Sources:

Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5):881-887, 1980

Human lymphocyte activation is depressed at low-g and enhanced at high-g.(NCBI)

Rebounding: Good for the Lymph System

Ever tried rebounding? Will you give it a go? Tell me below!

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder and CEO of Wellness Mama, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Types of Teas and Their Health Benefits

Originally Published on Webmd.com  By Julie Edgar

Types of Teas and Their Health Benefits

From green tea to hibiscus, from white tea to chamomile, teas are chock full of flavonoids and other healthy goodies.

Regarded for thousands of years in the East as a key to good health, happiness, and wisdom, tea has caught the attention of researchers in the West, who are discovering the many health benefits of different types of teas.

Studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol; and bring about mental alertness. Tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities.

“There doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, LD. “I think it’s a great alternative to coffee drinking. First, tea has less caffeine. It’s pretty well established that the compounds in tea – their flavonoids – are good for the heart and may reduce cancer.”

Although a lot of questions remain about how long tea needs to be steeped for the most benefit, and how much you need to drink, nutritionists agree any tea is good tea. Still, they prefer brewed teas over bottled to avoid the extra calories and sweeteners.

Here’s a primer to get you started.

Health Benefits of Tea: Green, Black, and White Tea

Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.

The more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high.

Here’s what some studies have found about the potential health benefits of tea:

  • Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.
  • White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
  • Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.
  • Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.

 

Julie Edgar

Julie Edgar is a freelance journalist who specializes in health, business, and legal issues reporting. She writes news, features, and columns on subjects ranging from rheumatoid arthritis in the workplace to intelligent dog breeds to thorny lawsuits to corporate environmental initiatives. She is a frequent contributor to WebMD, Courthousenews.com, and AnnArbor.com. Before going freelance, Edgar worked as a news reporter and editor. She lives in the Detroit area with her husband and two sons.

 

10 Refreshing Infused Water Recipes (With Fruit & Herbs!)

Originally Published on Wellnessmama.com on January 23, 2019 By Katie Wells

10 Refreshing Infused Water Recipes With Fruit & Herbs!

Fruit-infused waters are a wonderful and refreshing drink option for summer when the sun is out, the kids are bored, and the bugs are biting.

TV commercials will try to convince you that only soda and processed drinks are thirst-quenching enough for summer. Of course, you probably already know better, but sometimes it is nice to have an alternative to plain water.

The market for sweetened, processed junk to add to water is a multi-billion dollar industry. This is unfortunate for all of the people drinking this junk. The body doesn’t need refined sugar, and it certainly doesn’t need artificial sweeteners or food dyes.

If you want to add some delicious taste and health benefits to water, try these fruit-water recipes instead! These recipes use micronutrient-rich herbs, fruits, and vegetables for thirst-quenching flavor with added benefits!

Why Fruit Infused Water?

Why not just drink juice or soda? Several reasons:

Better Flavor

I personally prefer the subtle flavors of infused water to the overly sweet flavor of most juices. Unlike juice, the flavor is gentle and very refreshing. There’s a reason high-end restaurants and spas serve infused waters like these!

Less Sugar

Most fruit juice also contains a lot of sugar. Even without added sugar, juice is a source of naturally occurring sugars and it is better to consume fruit whole so that you get the fiber, which helps slow down sugar absorption.

Hydration

Fruit-infused waters contain much of the flavor (or more) of fruit juices without the sugar, making it easier to drink more. Most people enjoy the taste of fruit waters, making them more likely to drink more water.

Variety is the spice of life, after all!

How to Make Fruit Infused Water

It is hard to even call infused water a recipe because it is so simple. My kids love making these infused water recipes on their own and even figure out new flavors.

There are a couple of tips that make the process easier and improve the taste:

Use a Good Pitcher

Using a high-quality glass pitcher really does improve the flavor of infused water. This also makes it much easier to serve and enjoy! There are several great options for pitchers or jars:

  • Glass Pitcher with Infusing Lid This pitcher is my absolute favorite because it is all glass with a stainless steel lid that keeps the fruit in the pitcher so it is easier to pour. It stores easily in the fridge for infused water on demand.
  • A half-gallon glass mason jar – A cheaper option is a half-gallon mason jar. I always have these around the house and use them for infused water and dozens of other things.

Use High-Quality Fruits and Herbs

The fruit and herbs are adding flavor to the water. But if they are not organic, they might be adding some unintended pesticides or chemicals. I always try to choose high-quality fresh organic produce for making infused waters to avoid the pesticides in much conventional produce. If you do have to use conventional produce, be sure to peel off the rind or skin before infusing, and/or wash with this easy fruit and vegetable rinse recipe.

If you grow to love fruit- and herb-infused water like I have, consider starting an indoor herb garden in your kitchen just for this purpose! Then fresh herbs are always only a pinch away.

Give It Time

For best flavor, it takes at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator to let the flavors of the fruit infuse into the water. Some of the recipes below are written for a half-gallon jar, others for a gallon jar.

You can double or halve any of them to make more or less. Also, these recipes are just suggestions and fruit waters are based on your taste preferences, so experiment and enjoy!

If you drink the water within the first day, you can add more filtered water and re-infuse to get a second use out of the fruits and herbs.

Infused Water Recipes

Here are some of my favorite herb- and fruit-infused water recipes:

1. Cucumber Mint

Thinly slice one cucumber. Peel if it isn’t organic! Add the sliced cucumbers to a ½ gallon glass jar, add 8 muddled fresh mint leaves, and fill with filtered water. Stir gently and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Citrus Blueberry

Slice two organic oranges into thin slices (leave the rind on for better flavor). Add sliced oranges and 1 cup of blueberries to a gallon size glass jar. Add filtered water to fill the jar and stir gently. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and store in refrigerator.

3. Pineapple Mint

One of my favorites! Peel and thinly slice about 1/4 of a pineapple. The more thinly sliced the pineapple, the more flavor it will infuse. Add to a ½ gallon size glass jar with 10-12 leaves of muddled fresh mint. Add filtered water to fill and stir gently. Store in refrigerator.

4. Watermelon Basil

Add about 2 cups of finely chopped fresh watermelon (without rind) to a gallon-size glass jar. Add 15 leaves of muddled basil and filtered water to fill. Store in refrigerator and allow at least 4 hours to infuse.

5. Strawberry Lemon

Like strawberry lemonade, but better! Add 15 fresh strawberries, washed and finely sliced to a ½ gallon glass jar. Add one sliced lemon with rind on. Fill with water. Stir gently and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight in refrigerator and enjoy.

6. Cherry Lime

Reminiscent of cherry limeade, minus the sugar coma. Add two cups of fresh cherries, cut in half, and one fresh lime, sliced into thin slices, to a gallon-size glass jar. Add water to fill. Mix gently and store in refrigerator until ready to drink.

7. Grapefruit Raspberry

Another one of my favorites! Add one grapefruit, thinly sliced with rind on, to a gallon-size glass jar. Then add ½ cup  slightly muddled fresh raspberries. Add water and mix well. Store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before drinking.

8. Mango Pineapple

Peel and thinly slice one fresh mango. Add to ½ gallon glass jar. Add 1 cup of finely chopped pineapple and filtered water. Allow to infuse in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before drinking.

9. Grape Orange

The hands-down kid favorite at our house. Place 2 cups of halved organic grapes into a gallon-size glass jar. Add one orange, thinly sliced with rind on. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

10 Refreshing Infused Water Recipes With Fruit & Herbs_2

10. Pineapple Basil

My husband’s favorite. Add ¼ of a sliced fresh pineapple and 15 leaves of muddled fresh basil to a half-gallon jar. Add filtered water. Infuse overnight and enjoy.

Have you ever made fruit-infused water? What is your favorite combination?

Crunchy Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Dill Dip (My Favorite Recipe)

Originally Published on healthy-holistic-living.com on January 24, 2018 By Michelle Toole

Crunchy Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Dill Dip My Favorite Recipe

If you’ve never had the chance to try zucchini fritters then this recipe is for you!

These fritters are unbelievably easy to make, low calorie, and the perfect way to sneak in some veggies! I’m warning you that this recipe will undoubtedly make your taste buds dance. They are jam-packed with all of the right flavors and they are healthy for you! It’s almost guaranteed that this will be a household favorite.   This will definitely please adults and children alike. Hope you Enjoy Your Zucchini Fritters!

Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Dill Dip

This dish is perfect to take on a picnic or to a potluck! All I can say about this dish is yum, yum. It is one of my all-time favorites!

Fritter Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 small ones)
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil we grow our own, but you can find it at any grocery store
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano ditto
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 organic eggs or Flax Egg
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper

Dip Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate zucchini. Place zucchini in a colander set in the sink and toss with 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 10 minutes, and then wring zucchini dry in a clean kitchen towel to remove moisture. Place zucchini in a large bowl and gently mix in egg, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon zest, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine. Slowly add flour, stirring so no lumps form.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of zucchini mixture into the pan. Carefully drop about 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture into pan; repeat, spacing fritters a few inches apart.

  3. Cook fritters until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Turn fritters, and continue cooking until golden, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer fritters to a plate; set aside in a warm place. Cook remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

Recipe Notes

If you want more veggies try adding a ½ cup of finely chopped kale or spinach!

Crunchy Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Dill Dip My Favorite Recipe_2

Michelle Toole

Michelle Toole is the founder and head editor of Healthy Holistic Living. Learn all about her life’s inspiration and journey to health and wellness.

Why Palm Oil Free

Originally published on livepuresoap.com 

oil palm

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil that is derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree. Oil palms are originally from Western Africa, but can flourish wherever heat and rainfall are abundant. Today, palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America, with 85% of all palm oil globally produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia; but most of the time not using sustainable measures.

The Industry:

The industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations. According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction, and findings show that if nothing changes species like the orangutan could become extinct in the wild within the next 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers less than 3 years.

In total, 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually, supplying over 30% of the world’s vegetable oil production. This single vegetable oil is found in approximately 40-50% of household products in countries such as United States, Canada, Australia and England. Palm oil can be present in a wide variety of products, including: baked goods, confectionery, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning agents, washing detergents and toothpaste.

(information provided by http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/)

Impacts on the environment:

A large proportion of palm oil expansion occurs at the expense of biodiversity and ecosystems in the countries it is produced. Currently, a third of all mammal species in Indonesia are considered to be critically endangered as a consequence of this unsustainable development that is rapidly encroaching on their habitat.

One animal of particular importance according to conservationists is the orangutan, which has become a charismatic icon for deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra. Over 90% of orangutan habitat has been destroyed in the last 20 years, and as such, is considered “a conservation emergency” by the UN. An estimated 1000-5000 orangutans are killed each year for this development. The orangutan is a keystone species and plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem. An example of this being the spread of rainforest seeds in Indonesia, many of which can only germinate once passed through the gut of an orangutan, hence this primate is essential for the existence of the forest. But the orangutan is not the only species affected by palm oil development; their situation represents the story of thousands of other species facing the same fate in South-East Asia.

Deforestation for palm oil production also contributes significantly to climate change. The removal of the native forests often involves the burning of invaluable timber and remaining forest undergrowth, emitting immense quantities of smoke into the atmosphere and making Indonesia the third highest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.

{CLIMATE}

Pollution caused by the burning of secondary forests across Borneo and Sumatra increases the quantity of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, subsequently helping to excel climate change. Trees and plants filter such gas and release oxygen intern (through a process called photosynthesis). The removal of the forests themselves in these regions is therefore also a key factor contributing to the increase in atmospheric pollution, as less carbon dioxide is being removed from the air due to diminishing forests.

{LAND}

In addition to its impacts on the climate, conventional palm oil development causes severe damage to the landscape of Borneo and Sumatra and has been linked to issues such as land erosion and the pollution of rivers. The root systems of rainforest trees help to stabilize the soil and therefore if the forests are cleared, land erosion after rainfall can become a common occurrence.

(information provided by http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/)

Impact on animals:

There are over 300,000 different animals found throughout the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra, many of which are injured, killed and displaced during deforestation. In addition, palm oil development increases accessibility of animals to poachers and wildlife smugglers who capture and sell wildlife as pets, use them for medicinal purposes or kill them for their body parts. The destruction of rainforests in Borneo and Sumatra is therefore not only a conservation emergency, but a major animal welfare crisis as well.

Wildlife such as orangutans have been found buried alive,  killed from machete attacks, guns and other weaponry. Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades. This either occurs during the deforestation process, or after the animal enters a village or existing palm oil plantation in search of food. Mother orangutans are also often killed by poachers and have their babies taken to be sold or kept as pets, or used for entertainment in wildlife tourism parks in countries such as Thailand and Bali.

Other mega fauna that suffer as a result of this development include species like the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear, Pygmy Elephant, Clouded Leopard and Proboscis Monkey. Road networks that are constructed to allow palm oil plantation workers and equipment access to the forest also increase accessibility of these areas to poachers that are looking for these kinds of valuable animals. This allows poachers to comfortably drive to an area to sit and wait for their target where previously they may have had to trek through inaccessible areas of forest.

(information provided by http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/)

Impacts on people:

The establishment of oil palm plantations is often promoted as a way of bringing development to poor, rural regions of Borneo and Sumatra. In reality, the industry often has devastating impacts on the people in these areas. All too often, the government’s main interest in the country’s economy leads them to allow corporations to take the land owned by indigenous peoples for their own financial benefit.

The palm oil industry is also linked to major human rights violations, including child labor in remote areas of Indonesia and Malaysia. Children are made to carry large loads of heavy fruit, weed fields and spend hours every day bent over collecting fruit from the plantation floor. Heat exhaustion and cuts and bruises from climbing thorny oil palms are commonplace in this damaging workspace. More than often not, children receive little or no pay for their efforts.

With plantations systematically destroying the rainforest land that the local people depend on, communities are continuously finding themselves with no choice but to become plantation workers. Faced with poor and degrading working conditions, they often earn barely enough income to survive and support their families. Instead of being able to thrive without it, indigenous communities become reliant on the success of the palm oil industry for their income and survival, leaving these villagers incredibly vulnerable to the world market price of palm oil which they have no control over.

(information provided by http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/)

For more information on the dammaging effects of palm oil – visit: http://www.saynotopalmoil.com

 Live Pure Soap is committed to creating sustainable, palm oil free body products for a better tomorrow. We understand that every person on Earth can make a difference, this is one of ours.

Live Pure Soap – Good for the planet, and your body!