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.
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.
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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.
Curb Your Allergies
with Herbs at Home!
Spring is on the horizon and pollen is in the air! While some of us are looking forward to warm breezes, sunny days, and sandals, others can’t help but wonder how their seasonal allergies will affect them this year - and what to do about them. According to the Asthma and Allergy Center, hay fever (Allergic rhinitis) affects about 35 million Americans each year. The symptoms of hay fever consist of sneezing, coughing, congestion, itchy, swollen, or watery eyes and are commonly addressed by prescription or over-the-counter medications.
These days’ people are increasingly looking for natural ways to address health concerns instead of using harsh chemicals that could possibly cause further damage as a side effect. Some people are even going to greater lengths and learning how to prepare their own herbal medicine at home! Herbalism was the primary practice of our ancestors since times immemorial. We can relearn what we already know deep inside by listening and healing ourselves the old-fashioned way – and we can use herbs to address our allergies.
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.
Here are four of some of the best herbs to address allergy symptoms and how to prepare them.
(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.”
Dosage: 1 tablespoon per cup of water for tea.
Goldenrod is a big help when you experience nasopharyngeal catarrh (abundance of mucus in the nose and throat.) Goldenrod is drying in nature and assists with runny noses and watery eyes. It is a natural antihistamine, so it treats the symptoms of hay fever. Goldenrod is supportive in influenza, sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis. Contraindicated in edema from heart or kidney failure, and all kidney disorders unless advised by a health professional.
“Goldenrod is sometimes mistaken for ragweed - one of the plants responsible for seasonal allergies”
(Marrubium vulgare) aka white horehound
Dosage: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water for tea. 10 drops of extract before meals, up to 30 drops of tincture before meals 1-4 times daily.
Horehound is indicated in thick wet mucus in the respiratory tract. It thins and drains mucus from the lungs, and is especially helpful with bronchitis. Horehound is a decongestive herb that has a drying effect on the respiratory tract. It’s an expectorant so it can help cough up mucus to rid it from the respiratory tract.
Note: Contraindicated in pregnancy.
“You can find Horehound in cough drops and throat lozenges. Horehound pairs well with any or all of the other herbs mentioned.”
Dosage: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water. 10-60 drops of 1:4 tincture 2-4 times daily, 10-60 drops of extract 1-4 times daily.
Eyebright is known for its affinity to the eyes. It isn’t well known for its benefit to seasonal allergies and the respiratory tract. It addresses inflammation in itchy irritated eyes and a runny nose. Eyebright has astringent, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and decongestant qualities and can clear pink eye. You can get relief by making a tea and using some to rinse your eyes with, and then drinking the rest.
“Eyebright is one of the most common eye health herbs, and is helpful in hay fever too.”
Below you will find some simple directions that will make it easy for you to buy dried herbs from your local herb shop and make your own herbal preparations. Be creative, and feel your ability to heal yourself.
*Be sure to always research, and cross reference recommended herbs several times before deciding which herb is best to use and how to prepare it.
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.
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.
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.
Mom, Herbalist, Reiki Practitioner, and owner of My Nutritious Earth an online herbal product company. Akila is driven by the responsibility of helping to heal humanity. Akila takes pride in making herbal medicine, teaching herbal medicine, and learning herbal medicine of different cultures. Akila is also passionate, in assisting others in healing themselves and their families. Akila loves to read, forage, and travel. Metaphysics, spirituality, and Earth Based Spiritual Practices inspire Akila. Akila can be reached at www.mynutritiousearth.com, and My Nutritious Earth on all social media platforms.
for Your Health
We were built to trek for miles and miles
in order to hunt and gather our sustenance. Despite this, we spend the majority
of our time sitting in modern culture. That is not good for our bodies and can
lead to a variety of health issues. This is most likely one of the most
significant reasons to get moving and go for a walk every day. That is, of
course, easier said than done. Most of us sit for work, eat while sitting, and
to be honest, all we want to do when we get home from work is collapse on the
sofa for a Netflix marathon till bedtime.
Getting into and maintaining the habit of going for a daily walk can be difficult. But it is precisely what we must do. We need to get into the habit of going for walks, much like we do with brushing our teeth twice a day or carrying the garbage cans to the curb. It will be less of a challenge to make sure we go for a walk every day if it has become a habit.
Finding a walking path that you enjoy is a fantastic place to start. It helps to make things as simple as possible. Your favorite walk may have magnificent views, but if it requires a 30-minute drive there and back, you are less likely to go every day. Instead, save that walk for the weekends and replace it with something more convenient and enjoyable for your daily walking regimen. If possible, find a route in your own neighborhood that allows you to leave immediately from your front door. Simply put on your shoes and go for a walk.
Taking the same route everyday aids in the formation of that habit. It's also gratifying to discover how much faster or with less effort you can walk the same circle over time. It demonstrates that you are making a difference and becoming stronger and more fit.
Listening to music, podcasts, or audio books is also beneficial. It will make time fly by and give you something to look forward to. You can also use your favorite media to entice yourself to take your regular walk. Assume you have a number of favorite podcasts. Keep them for your walks and just listen to them while you're walking. It's a terrific motivator to get out there even on days when you don't feel like it.
Consider going for a stroll with other people. Find a walking group in your region or persuade a friend or neighbor to join you on your walk. It's not only more pleasant to walk with someone to talk to, but it also adds some accountability. It is far more difficult to skip a walking workout when other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them.
Try these strategies to see if they can help you make walking a daily habit and an important part of your health, fitness, and life.
Master Vegan Chef
There are so many anti-aging products on the market. The question is....do they really work? What makes Mother Nature’s anti-aging foods work is because they contain powerful antioxidants! Antioxidants counteract the harmful effects of free radical that create disease and causes the body to age faster. Free radicals destroy and cause mutations in the body's cells that can be compared to rust on a car. When this happens, the cells become unable to absorb the nutrients that are needed and this in turn causes the body to lose the ability to fight off disease. This is where Mother Nature steps in and provides her natural bounty to help us combat this problem. Here is a partial list of the best anti-aging foods that are available in nature.
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.
Full 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.
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.
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.
Red, yellow, orange, and green peppers are full of Vitamin C which boosts your immune system. Good for dry skin and certain cancers.
High in antioxidants and they slow skin aging by reducing free radicals.
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.
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.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate these mighty
powerhouses is to add them to smoothies. A simple smoothie that I make that is
packed with essential nutrients is:
To my blender I add: 2 to 3 cups of iced water, frozen assorted berries, frozen bananas, frozen peaches, mango, dried goji berries, dried coconut, hemp seeds, and agave nectar. I also add a handful of assorted unsalted nuts. Blend well.
After drinking this I am good for the day!.
Be creative and do your own thing. Instead of water, use almond milk or even hemp, flax, or quinoa milk. Add different fruits and I always add dandelion leaves to keep my liver in tip top shape.
The spring and summer is a great time for smoothies because of all the wonderful fruits available during the warm weather season. Until next time, eat well, eat right, so that you can be right.
Writer, Master Vegan Chef, and Health & Wellness Consultant. Yahimba may be reached on social media @yahimbauhuru or by email.