24 Hours of Self-Care

As you all know, I’m all about self-care and making it a priority. I talk, write and dream a lot about those small moments of self-care that we should incorporate into our everyday life. Continue reading 24 Hours of Self-Care

Ginger for Good Health!

There are many amazing foods that you can add to your meals in order to enhance the flavour and improve the nutritional value. Ginger is one such thing that is not only loved for its taste, but also for its health boosting properties for both your body and brain.

Whether you use ground ginger or purchase the root and chop, grate or slice it yourself, you will be able to enjoy the many health advantages.

One of the most appreciated uses of ginger is to tackle feelings of nausea, especially those brought on by morning sickness. It is also believed to be effective in reducing vomiting for post-surgery patients and is used regularly by those undergoing chemotherapy.

Ginger can be effective in alleviating muscle pain and soreness following exercise due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Although the effects are not immediate, it will contribute to lowered levels of pain and soreness when used day to day. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can also help to relieve the impact of osteoarthritis.

Consuming ginger regularly is thought to lower cholesterol levels, which is good news for the health of your heart. High levels of cholesterol can contribute to the onset of heart disease and it is possible to help limit your risk by taking control of your diet!

Now that you know some of the great advantages of including ginger in your diet, let’s take a look at some easy and delicious ways that you can include it in your diet.

Drinking ginger tea is a simple way to enjoy it. You can either buy ready made tea, or you can cut up a chunk of ginger and pour hot water over it. For extra flavour and nutrition you can include a dash of lemon juice.

Adding chunks of ginger to soup is also easy to do and you can use fresh or powdered for similar benefits. If you are going to blend your soup before you eat it then it is effortless to just include large pieces of fresh ginger as it will get blitzed anyway!

Ginger can also be used in moderation in baking and can give an interesting twist to many dishes. Always be sure to follow the recipe when you are using ginger so that you do not overwhelm your dish with this flavour.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Simple Self-Care

We all know that our own self-care and wellness should be at the top of our priority list. However, how often is this actually the case? Many of us seem to believe that we have to seriously set time aside from our normal daily routine to embrace wellness practices – but this is simply not true!

It actually takes minimal effort to incorporate certain self-care activities into your schedule, and they will soon become second nature – requiring no forethought at all! When you reach this point you will notice that you are more likely to feel relaxed and focused during your days.

Breathing

Breathing is seriously under-rated as a tool for stress relief and can be used anywhere at any time to rebalance your thoughts and your emotions. A simple technique to start is to stop whatever it is that you are doing, close your eyes and begin breathing deeply and slowly. Count each breath in and try not to allow any thoughts, anxieties or feelings to enter your mind. At this moment, counting your breaths is the only thing that you need to concern yourself with and everything else can take a back seat. Try to reach at least 20 breaths each time you do this, and if you have the time then go on for longer! Even if you do not feel particularly stressed out then I suggest you do this several times a day.

Detox Digitally

You are probably already aware of how much stress your digital devices cause you. Constantly checking messages and scrolling through your various social media feeds can not only be quite time consuming, but also emotionally draining. If it’s not possible for you to go the day without your smart phone, then at least try to have extended periods away from it. Make sure you always turn it off before bedtime and do not take it to bed with you!

Ritual Teatime

Having a time set aside for drinking herbal tea and reflecting on your day is a great way to unwind and care for yourself in the evening. You can use this time to enjoy your favourite brew whilst you process the events of the day just passed. Turning this into a mini ceremony by yourself helps your mind to appreciate the importance of this time spent alone caring for yourself.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

How to Handle Your Hormones

Mood swings can strike at any time and although there are certain common likely causes, it is something that can’t always be managed in the same way.

What Are Mood Swings

Your mood swings may be characterised by a variety of things, such as unexplained crying or unjustified irritability. It is important to remember that although your emotions may seem out of proportion, your feelings in each moment are still valid and true, and there is no need to beat yourself up about this!

Diet & Gut Health

A hormonal imbalance is a likely cause when it comes to mood swings, and this can be handled by addressing your lifestyle and making positive changes where necessary. This will largely be in relation to your diet. Your diet can impact your emotions in several ways, and it will also have an impact on the health of your gut. Your gut health is linked to your mood, and it is important to play close attention to this aspect of your overall health. The bacteria in your intestines will influence your hormones, and this of course will then impact your mood. So, a large presence of good bacteria will go a long way to helping!

Blood Sugar Levels

Keeping your blood sugar levels consistent is one of the best ways to keep your mood from fluctuating. You may think that skipping a meal will help you to lose weight, or save you time if you have a busy schedule. But doing so can actually wreak havoc with your hormones and leave you feeling annoyed, fatigued and generally unhappy. Fortunately, you can keep your blood sugar levels up by regularly eating nutritious foods, and avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks!

Sleep & Stress

In addition to your diet, certain lifestyle factors such as sleep will also influence your hormones and therefore your mood. When you do not get enough sleep your body will produce excess levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. This will put unnecessary stress on your adrenal glands, and can cause your serotonin levels to drop. Serotonin is super important for keeping your mood up, and you should always try to get between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If you have trouble getting to sleep, or find that you are often waking in the night, then you may find some relief by drinking soothing herbal teas before you go to bed.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Green Tea

Tea is unarguably one of the most popular hot beverages enjoyed around the world. If you’re making the choice to drink green tea for the health benefits, then, with so many varieties, flavours and ways of making it, it’s often difficult to know what the best options are. All green tea is derived from a plant and is a fantastic source of antioxidants, not to mention many other nutritious properties.

green-tea-grassrootsandgrains8There is such a massive selection of green tea brands to choose from and different companies often place emphasis on various health benefits. The most popular beliefs of drinking this kind of tea are firstly, that the high levels of antioxidants will help protect the body against many different forms of cancer. In addition to this, it is also suggested that green tea can reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack and improve cardiovascular health in general. Also, research has suggested that regularly drinking green tea will help keep many degenerative diseases at bay.

green-tea-grassrootsandgrains10It has also been suggested that green tea can improve your body’s capabilities of burning fat for fuel during exercise which inevitably leads to increased endurance. To some extent, it is also possible that green tea can also help protect against ultraviolet rays by aiding your body’s natural protection.

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Different versions of the drink obviously vary in nutritional value depending on the ingredients they contain. Here are a few of the best to look out for!

Lotus Root

Lotus root is traditionally used more in tea in Eastern countries and in fact is also used in many meals as well. It is an herbaceous, perennial plant that grows in special ponds and is rich in multiple minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients. It is also a great source of fibre which, as you may already know, can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as relieving constipation. Drinking green tea with lotus in it is an excellent idea if you’re looking for a simple way to boost your vitamin C levels. Just 100g of lotus root contains over 70% of your recommended daily allowance of this vitamin! Iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese can also be found in lotus and including this type of green tea in your daily diet will be of great benefit to your body.

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Sencha

Sencha is the favourite hot beverage of green tea drinkers in Japan. Sencha tea is made with young leaves from the Camellia Sinesis plant, those of which are steamed prior to use to reduce the bitter flavour and retain the green colour. Sencha tea has a sweet aroma and can often have a grassy or seaweed-like taste. As with other types of green tea, sencha has high antioxidant properties and is generally thought to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst aiding the production of good cholesterol.

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Matcha

The health benefits of matcha are thought to be comparatively much greater than many other green teas. It is revered by many as a fat-burning, cancer combatant that is jam packed full of essential minerals and antioxidants. To feel the full fantastic effects of matcha, you can also eat the entire leaf! When you make a cup of any kind of green tea, only a fraction of the nutrition is infused into the water; with so much goodness in a cup already, imagine the benefits of consuming the whole thing! Studies suggest that drinking one cup of matcha tea is approximately ten times better nutritionally than drinking any other type of green tea so, for a real health kick, this is the hot drink for you! With such an impressive amount of naturally occurring health boosters, your immune system, brain function and overall general health could soon start to experience the positive effects.

As well as these amazing specialised types of tea, there are also the more commercially available types that are flavoured with things like nettle, lemongrass and violet. These kinds of hot beverages are still great for your body and the effects of consuming the added flavourings will still be apparent. For example, nettle tea has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a brilliant source of calcium, phosphates and several vitamins. Sufferers of arthritis may find relief in drinking nettle tea and it can also be useful in treating allergies.

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Similarly, lemongrass has mild sedative effects when used in tea and can therefore be very relaxing. There has been extensive testing into the cancer fighting properties of lemongrass and it is proposed that the component within it that creates the aroma actually kills cancerous cells. Lemongrass green tea is frequently used as a remedy for digestion problems and to relieve the symptoms of a cold.

Hopefully by now you can see why green tea should be regularly guzzled! Experiment with different flavours and brands to find your favourites and try not to limit yourself to just one or two! Remember though, drinking hot beverages can occasionally encourage the occurrence of esophageal cancer, so give your tea a few minutes to cool down before you enjoy both the taste and health benefits.

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