Spring is in the Air!

It’s officially spring y’all! Are you happy? I know I am. Our theme for this month’s issue of Plus Size Wellness is titled “Spring is in the Air”. Spring is a season of new beginnings, and we have a new magazine format, which we hope you like. We have gone fully digital, and our magazine can be read online. No longer will you need to flip pages and be limited to how you can read our magazine. Now you can scroll and read the articles on your mobile devices. Also, all links and ads are clickable. Isn't that cool? 

Do you spring clean your home or work place this time of year? I personally do an internal cleanse for spring. Especially, after eating more starchy and hearty comfort foods during the winter months. This is a good time of year to " Spring Clean Your Life ". I have written an article that will be helpful in assisting you with cleaning your life, which is important for balance. Remember, staying healthy in mind, body, and soul. Is all about staying balanced.

Spring is in the air and that means it is pollen season. While we welcome the beautiful flowers that will grow during the spring. We do not look forward to the allergic reaction our bodies often have to pollen. Thankfully, Certified Herbalist, Akila K. provides us with four of some of the top anti-allergy herbs in her article “ Curb Your Allergies with Herbs at Home! ”. Plus, as a bonus she has included instruction on how to infuse herbs.

I confess that I’ve been slacking in the area of walking since ‘Rona came on the scene and affected the world in 2020. That’s changing this spring as I told myself that come spring I would get back into my daily habit of walking. Especially, since walking is one of the best exercises we can do. Matter of fact it is just naturally something we do. The article “ Walk More for Your Health ” by yours truly is one that I am holding myself accountable to put back into practice. Will you join me?

So many people are concerned about aging and the effect it has on their skin. Well, Master Vegan Chef, Yahimba Uhuru provides natural solutions in her article “ Mother Nature’s Anti-Aging Products ”. Even better for us all is the fact that the solution is at your local grocery store. How cool is that? She even includes a great smoothie recipe that she drinks daily. I have met Yahimba, and honey her skin is flawless. Let’s just say “skin goals!”.

Okay y'all, that's a roundup of the articles in this issue of Plus Size Wellness. I hope you have a wonderful new season and will take time to use the information and tips we have provided in each article. Be sure to share this information with your loved ones. Also, follow us on social media @plussizewellness and the hashtag #iamplussizewellness.

Stay blessed! 
Tonya EL

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Spring Clean
Your Life

Tonya EL 
Certified Professional Life Coach

When you think of spring cleaning, you probably think of the time of year when you do a thorough cleaning of your home. You know how you move the fridge and clean out all the nooks and crevices?

What if you used the same concept, but instead of cleaning your physical surroundings, you cleaned up your life?

If you are not sure what that means, here are nine tips to get you started.

Take Inventory of Your Life

Before you begin spring-cleaning your life, you should take a careful inventory of your current situation. Do you have any objectives? How are things going for them? Is there anything in your life that you would like to change? Taking stock of where you are will assist you in directing your energy where it is most needed.

Throw Away Toxic Relationships

Do you have any toxic relationships in your life? Maybe it is time to say goodbye to these people. Why are the people in your life there if they don't cheer you up, lift you up, or build you up?

Tidy Up Your Habits

It might be time to get rid of those bad habits of yours. Bad habits accumulate over time and cost you in the long run. If you believe you already do a good job of it, concentrate on developing some new positive habits.

Clear Your Mind

We all have a lot going on in our heads. Perhaps you should spend some time cleaning up. Developing a daily meditation practice is an excellent way to clear your mind. You could also try journaling. Putting those thoughts that are racing through your head on paper can make all the difference.

Unplug from Technology

Technology is wonderful, but every now and then we need to unplug and live in the moment. Do not be afraid to weed through some of your social media accounts. Aim to spend less time on your devices and more time simply taking in the sights and sounds of the world around you.

Revamp Your Workout Routine

Is your workout routine becoming monotonous or stale? Do you even follow a fitness regimen? Why not shake things up a little? Spring cleaning is all about getting rid of the old and making room for the new. Find a new exercise, sport, or activity that excites you and try to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Sort Out Your Diet

Cleaning up your diet is a great way to tidy up your life. Consider adding more natural whole foods and reducing your guilty pleasures. Find a healthy eating plan that you can stick to.

Get Your Workspace Organized

This is almost like a typical spring cleaning. Organizing your workspace is a great way to increase your productivity and get excited about your job in general. Reorganizing is less about cleaning and more about ensuring that each item has its own space and that each space serves a purpose.

Rearrange Your Goals

Many people will see their goals come true, while others do not. Therefore, it is critical to revise your goals on a regular basis. Determine what is working and build on it. Determine what is not working and why. Make it a habit to check in on your progress toward your goals on a regular basis.

3 Actionable Steps

1. Think back on the past year of your life. Make a list of what worked and a separate list of what did not. This will assist you in directing your "cleaning" efforts.

2. Clean up your social media by unfollowing people who consistently irritate or push your buttons. Consider whom you want to follow and unfollow those whom you do not.

3. Make time in your calendar for spring cleaning. Set aside a few days in the coming weeks to focus solely on cleaning up your life.

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Did you know

Currently, 80% of the world’s current population relies upon herbal medicine to address health concerns and many have never even entered a hospital.

Stinging Nettles

(Urtica dioica) aka nettles, nettle

Dosage: 2 teaspoons per cup of water for tea, or up to 10 drops 4 times daily for extracts, 30-60 drops of tincture 3 times daily.

Nettle is a common herb that has been proven to inhibit the inflammatory response that triggers the symptoms of hay fever. It reduces excess mucus and alleviates feelings of itchiness and burning. Taking nettle by extract is the most potent and brings swift relief. Teas, capsules, and other preparations can be used, but a slower outcome is to be expected unless you begin taking them before you are exposed to the allergens. A super infusion of nettle would be perfect since nettle is so rich in nutrients and nourishes the whole body.

Note: Contraindicated in excessively large doses. Super infusions are common and okay but too large amounts can have an abortifacient effect.

"Nettle is the kind of herb that you add to your daily diet. It’s super-rich in nutrients and is known as a nutritive – very nourishing in the body.”

Loose Leaf Tea

To make a cup of tea, the traditional way works best. You will use anywhere from one teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (you can mix herbs up to 1 tbsp.) of herb to 8 ounces of boiled water to and let it infuse 10-15 minutes before straining and drinking. You don’t’ need to do anything different.   

Super Infusion

This is a stronger version of a tea. To make a super infusion you will use 1 cup of herbs (mixed herbs or one single herb) to 32 ounces of boiled water. Allow it to infuse, in a covered glass vessel for 4-8 hours or overnight before straining and drinking a cup.  Super infusions are best used within 48 hours.

Extracts and Tinctures

These are widely available for purchase online and in health food stores or can be made at home using vodka (yes vodka from the liquor store!) Extracts and tinctures can be used in conjunction with teas or alone when supporting allergy symptoms.

First, there is a difference between an extract and a tincture – it is the strength of the medicine that comes out at the end of the process. An extract uses a larger ratio of herb to alcohol. Ex. 1 ounce of herb to 2, 3, or 4 ounces of alcohol which would make a 1:2, 1:3, or 1:4 extract. The completed product would be used in varying amounts depending on the herb itself.

On the other hand, a tincture uses a smaller herb to alcohol ratio. 1 ounce of herb to 6 ounces of alcohol or more (ex. 1:8, 1:10 etc.). At the end of this preparation, the user would use about 20-60 drops per serving.

Both extracts and tinctures are made by filling a mason jar with the desired amount of an herb, and alcohol, fill with vodka leaving some space at the top to shake and incorporate.

Label the jar with the name of the herb, the date you prepared it, what alcohol you used including percent of alcohol by volume. You will shake the preparation daily for the first 3 weeks. Then you will store in a cool dark area away from direct sunlight for the duration of the process (6 weeks to 3 months.) 3 months is a good time frame. Some herbalists leave their extracts for a year or longer. Extracts will keep indefinitely- some say 10 years when stored properly. 

I hope this article gave some insight into how easy it is to take your health into your own hands “herbally speaking” and lead some to explore the medicine that Mother Earth has for us. Use these methods well and heal your allergies this Spring.

Always, in good health – Akila.  

Nuts & Seeds

Rich in healthy fats that support the brain, heart, and joints These can be incorporated in your everyday diet by adding them to smoothies, baked goods, salads, or as is.

Hemp Seeds

F​ull of protein and fiber as well as being a good source of Omega-3. They fight inflammation and help with elimination. Add these little powerhouses to smoothies or baked goods.

Coconut

I use the oil daily for oil pulling which promotes good dental health. The oil is good for skin problems like dry skin and wrinkles. Great for the hair as well. 

Avocado

I eat one every day and they are good internally as well as externally. They are filled with Omega-3 and avocados feed the skin cells, nourish joints and helps to build hormones. They can be added to salads, smoothies, facial products, or as is. Avocados are very versatile.

Bell Pepper

Red, yellow, orange, and green peppers are full of Vitamin C which boosts your immune system. Good for dry skin and certain cancers.

Berries

High in antioxidants and they slow skin aging by reducing free radicals.

Elderberry

They are anti-viral as well as being able to reduce inflammation and increases blood circulation. Great for colds and other problems dealing with the lungs.

Goji Berry

Builds the immune system and slows down the effects of aging. They are good for eye health as well as for the skin. I add them to my smoothies and sprinkle them on my salads. They are packed with nutrients that helps the body to survive.

Yahimba Uhuru

Writer, Master Vegan Chef,  and Health & Wellness Consultant. Yahimba may be reached on social media @yahimbauhuru or by email.